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jon.dowland.name log

jon.dowland.name log
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Managing Puppet modules with puppet

jon.dowland.name log - Thu, 14/02/2013 - 11:51am

Over the last few days I've done quite a lot of work to try and get our puppet configuration up to modern best practises. The Puppet Labs folks strongly encourage you to make as much use of puppet modules as possible. A puppet module gathers together puppet manifests, facter facts and other bits and pieces into a reusable component that you could potentially share with others. Many modules (of very mixed quality) are available on the web, in particular at github and via Puppet Lab's own Forge.

squishyball

jon.dowland.name log - Tue, 12/02/2013 - 9:27am

On Friday, I uploaded an initial package for squishyball to Debian experimental. It's now in the NEW queue.

squishyball is a command-line tool to help you compare two audio files. It supports basic A/B testing, A/B/X testing and X/X/Y ("triangle") tests to help rule out various selection, confirmation and ordering biases. I'm using it to figure out the optimal lossy audio codec and bitrate to encode my music collection with.

Steam for Debian

jon.dowland.name log - Mon, 11/02/2013 - 10:29am

So you can download Steam for Linux now!. Or at least Ubuntu. The package needs a bit of tweaking to make it installable on Debian. There's a good writeup of some of the issues in this blog post. I run amd64 with multiarch enabled for i386. I chose to update my libc to the version in experimental rather than embed a newer version in a private steam directory.

Puppet and persistent network interface names

jon.dowland.name log - Tue, 29/01/2013 - 7:37pm

On Linux, network interface device naming has been somewhat chaotic: depending on a number of factors, eth0 today might not be eth0 tomorrow. For me, this has never been a problem in practice. At work, our physical servers have a bank of on-mainboard network ports, all managed by the same driver and so are assigned names predictably. For our virtual machines, the same is true: 99% of the time they have one network interface, but when they have more than one, they are of the same type and so are assigned predictably.

Possible future coding project

jon.dowland.name log - Tue, 22/01/2013 - 11:35am

Re-implement ikiwiki, or something like it, in go. See how much the language's features and philosophy colour the design. In particular I'm wondering how much the first-class treatment of concurrency might change how you structure things: one thread per page, or hot pages... you'd want to approach it with lots of micro-locks rather than one big lock to rule them all.

FLOS ≠ UNIX

jon.dowland.name log - Mon, 21/01/2013 - 3:31pm

I just read this excellent blog post called "Linux Future" which defines a term "FLOS" to describe what the current direction of Linux development appears to be. Specifically, it addresses the divergence from what one might call the "UNIX" philosophy in new core technologies like systemd.

HD audio and more archiving

jon.dowland.name log - Wed, 16/01/2013 - 5:50pm

Having obtained a respectable set of headphones last year, I started pondering about high definition music. Could I hear the difference between a track mixed at CD quality, 16 bit samples / 44.1kHz sample rate, and the same track mixed at a higher bit or sample rate? A number of artists have made HD audio releases available in a variety of formats, most of which are now obsolete (see: SACD, DVD-Audio) and/or hard to demux to something more modern. However some artists have made digital HD audio releases.

Wheezy problems

jon.dowland.name log - Mon, 03/12/2012 - 9:51pm

I've recently replaced my laptop's HDD as the S.M.A.R.T. data suggested a potential failure. I took the opportunity to try out beta4 of debian-installer and to install a pure wheezy system. Prior to this I've been running a mostly wheezy system with some bits from sid or experimental.

Backing up Twitter tweets and mentions

jon.dowland.name log - Sat, 24/11/2012 - 4:50pm

I mentioned ifttt last year: it's a web automation tool that lets you glue different web services together. I used it to build a 6music bot this year which was very well received.

I also use it to back up my own twitter interactions. All of my tweets and mentions are emailed to me. I can then archive those mails with the rest of my mail.

Waterstones

jon.dowland.name log - Tue, 20/11/2012 - 8:48pm

In May this year, in a desperate bid to bail water out of a sinking ship, HMV group sold off the Waterstones chain of bookstores.

Three Christmas Songs Which Aren't

jon.dowland.name log - Mon, 19/11/2012 - 9:56am

For some reason each of these three songs feel "Christmassy" to me. They are definitely not Christmas songs. Can you figure out why?

Cocteau Twins - Lorelei

Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark - Sailing On The Seven Seas

Ladytron - White Elephant

Debian Day #12

jon.dowland.name log - Tue, 06/11/2012 - 11:24pm

A few bits and pieces:

Microsoft Windows Surface RT

jon.dowland.name log - Tue, 06/11/2012 - 8:52pm

Some quick first impressions of the Windows Surface RT

dsafilter

jon.dowland.name log - Fri, 26/10/2012 - 9:12am

Seven years ago I wrote a quick ruby script called dsafilter which would verify the PGP signature on a Debian Security Advisory (DSA), determine which source package was mentioned in the mail, establish which binary packages are built from that source package and see whether any of them were installed on the current host.

Future plans included ways of checking package lists for multiple hosts.

Debian Days #10 and #11

jon.dowland.name log - Wed, 24/10/2012 - 7:51am

I've had a few weeks with very little time spent on Debian. I did set aside some time to try to find and fix an RC bug, to help the release. Steven C commented to let me know about the UDD Developer's Dashboard which is a great way to find RC bugs relevant to a team.

Dropbox and drive letters

jon.dowland.name log - Sat, 20/10/2012 - 5:50pm

For long-winded reasons I'd rather not explain nor defend, my partner uses Dropbox for a large set of important files (~70G), which are stored on a removable drive. She is also a Windows user. Recently, by introducing a few new drives, I inadvertently changed the drive letter that is assigned to her portable device, which stopped Dropbox from working. Solving this properly is rather finicky so I thought I'd write down what I did.

Chronic

jon.dowland.name log - Mon, 08/10/2012 - 7:41am

I've been ill for around 18 months. I started off ill, and more recently became more ill, so that I'd mentally divided my illness into two distinct periods. The truth, it turns out, is not quite so clear-cut. My more recent period of malaise spurred me on to seek a different treatment, which has restored me to a state of well-being which I had honestly forgot existed.

Engaged

jon.dowland.name log - Thu, 04/10/2012 - 9:49am
The ring

The ring

Back in August, I asked Sarah to marry me, and she said yes!

It took a little while to get the proper engagement ring sorted. I proposed with a stand-in, because I had a heirloom diamond that I wanted to offer Sarah for the ring. Happily she loved the idea, and so we had a ring made around the diamond.

Debian Day #9

jon.dowland.name log - Mon, 01/10/2012 - 4:37pm

Day 9 is a bit of a strange one. I had a rare three evenings spare, but I have been feeling very ill so I didn't achieve much, relatively, despite the increase.

I update game-data-packager with experimental support for Hexen 2, which paved the way for uploading the first version of uhexen2, which has been accepted into experimental contrib. I also sponsored a new version of vavoom, both by Gustavo Panizzo.

Delete! Delete!

jon.dowland.name log - Wed, 26/09/2012 - 11:02am
I prefer the classic Cybermen.

I prefer the classic Cybermen.

The only mail-filing feature that is consistently available across all mail clients (web, mobile, desktop) and most often via a convenient button, keypress or gesture, is Delete.

My next music player

jon.dowland.name log - Tue, 18/09/2012 - 8:30pm

About two years ago, I wrote about moving to a Sandisk Sansa Fuze as my music player. I transitioned from a 40G, HDD-based iRiver to an 8G flash-based player, with an additional 32G supplied by a micro SD card, both running the rockbox open-source firmware.

Of course, my music collection has grown over the last few years and so I needed to find another solution. That solution is…

Debian Day #8

jon.dowland.name log - Tue, 11/09/2012 - 9:10pm

A big gap since the last Debian Day. On request I reviewed Gustavo Panizzo's Hexen 2 Package which is in pretty good shape and should be ready for upload fairly soon. A prerequisite for that is support for Hexen 2 in game-data-packager: I've hacked in preliminary support and pushed a package to experimental (version 31), it should be available not long after you read this.

Archiving

jon.dowland.name log - Tue, 11/09/2012 - 8:20pm

Last year, via jwz, I watched the video "Archive Team: A distributed Preservation of Service Attack" from Defcon 19. I learned about the Archive Team and the work of Jason Scott.

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